20 Best Anime with Card Games
Whether they depict Japanese culture or not, anime series feature various games and sports from time to time. Sometimes, these games are based on real-life games with or without some modifications, whereas at other times, they are completely fictional and are made for the purpose of the anime. Sometimes these games are the main point of the story, sometimes they’re just present within the story. Be that as it may, we have decided to talk about card games in anime in this article, as we are going to bring you a list of the 20 best anime that have card games in them, whether they’re the main plot element or just a small segment of the plot.
Original Release: April 18, 2000 – September 29, 2004
Number of Episodes: 224
In Yu-Gi-Oh! we follow Yugi Mutō who is a fifteen-year-old who attends the first year at the high school in the city of Domino. His father is always on a business trip, so he lives with his mother and grandfather Sugoroku Mutō, owner of the games store Turtle Game, above which their apartment is also located. Eight years earlier, his grandfather had given him a gold casket, stolen from an Egyptian tomb, which contained the pieces of a gold puzzle inside.
Only now does Yugi manage to reassemble it, after years of hard work; he gets a pendant in the shape of an inverted pyramid (in Egyptian mythology a symbol of doom) called the Millennium Puzzle (in the manga it is also the translation of the original Japanese name, Sennen Puzzle, in English the name is Millennium Puzzle).
On the golden casket that kept it, a text is engraved, according to which whoever completes the Puzzle will become the champion of justice and will have access to the occult knowledge of the Games of Shadows (Yami no Game in original and Shadow Games in English). However, Yugi does not know the whole truth: inside the Puzzle, a spirit is locked up (a pharaoh of 3,000 years ago, as it turns out in the next series Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters).
When an abuse or a wrong is committed in front of the boy’s eyes, the spirit takes possession of his body, challenging the villain on duty to a game of shadows, which, generally, is a strange and dangerous game of his own invention, or readjustments of other games, in some cases, even Duel Monsters.
2. Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler
Original Release: July 1, 2017 – March 26, 2019
Number of Episodes: 24
Kakegurui is set at the private school Hyakkaou where only children of very rich and influential parents are taught. And since these have already learned the most from their private tutors, they are trained at school in strategy, cunning, and seeing through their opponents, above all through gambling. According to the wins and losses, their standing in the school changes. With student council president Kirari Momobami, another element was added: those who gamble too much money and cannot pay their dues to the student council become slaves to the other students, which is called pet status.
This hits Ryota Suzui first, who loses a lot of money against Mary Saotome. Shortly after Ryota’s defeat, Yumeko Jabami joins the class. The girl seems very naive and Ryota wants to protect her. But in her first match against Mary, the initially inexperienced Yumeko shows that she can see through her opponents and eventually beat them in the game. She frees Ryota from his slave role. From then on, Yumeko plays games against her classmates, in which she has to learn new games and is supported by Ryota.
3. Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
Original Release: October 6, 2004 – March 26, 2008
Number of Episodes: 180
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX begins ten years after the events of Yu-Gi-Oh !, with the protagonist, Jaden Yuki, obtaining the Kuriboh Winged card from Yugi Mutō, the famous Duel Monsters champion, as he goes to the exam. admission to the Duelist Academy. For the first two years at the Duelist Academy, the main characters face the most varied dangers, including the Knights of Shadows, who want to bring the Sacred Beasts back to life by plotting to obtain a strong concentration of duels on the island, as well as the Society. of the Light, which intends to enslave humanity through the control of the mind operated with a satellite owned by the kingdom of Misgarth.
Original Release: January 9, 2014 – December 24, 2019
Number of Episodes: 24
The story of Z/X is set in the not-too-distant future in which suddenly five “black holes” appear on Earth, portals of parallel worlds from which creatures and inhabitants of other worlds emerge in a short time, actually coming from the Earth in the future of different timelines. . The invaders soon begin to fight each other for supremacy, a struggle that even the inhabitants of the present will have to join for their survival.
Original Release: October 4, 2011 – March 24, 2020
Number of Episodes: 74 + OVA
When Chihaya Ayase was in the sixth grade of elementary school, she dreamed of seeing her sister become a recognized model. Her world is transformed from her when she meets Arata Wataya, a transfer classmate from Fukui, who, along with teaching her the true meaning of what was a dream, reveals to her the magic of the traditional Japanese card game: Karuta.
Arata also shares her ultimate wish: to become the best karuta player. Chihaya will quickly catch on to her passion for this game and she will decide to direct her new dream towards the horizon of becoming the best karuta player in Japan.
6. Cardcaptor Sakura
Original Release: April 7, 1998 – March 21, 2000
Number of Episodes: 70
In Cardcaptor Sakura, Sakura Kinomoto is a fourth-grade girl leading a very normal life. But one day, she is attracted to a noise in her father’s library. While searching for the origin of the sound, she finds a mysterious book: The Book of Clow, which she opens by accident.
She then accidentally drops almost all of the Clow Cards that were there, and only manages to keep one: the wind card. Through her ability to open the seal of the book, Sakura discovers that she has special powers and that it is her responsibility to recover the scattered cards. She, therefore, becomes the “Cardcaptor”.
Original Release: April 3, 2014 – March 27, 2021
Number of Episodes: 60
In the well-known trading card game WIXOSS, players engage in combat utilizing fighters called LRIGs and cards to help them. Ruko Kominato learns her LRIG, Tama, which she named, can speak after receiving a WIXOSS deck from her brother. She quickly learns that she has been selected as a “Selector,” a female who must compete against other Selectors.
Any desire they make will come true if they win a battle, but if they lose three times against other Selectors, not only will their request not be fulfilled, but it will also be undone. Ruko is dragged into the dark, deadly realm of WIXOSS as she competes with various other Selectors for their attention, learning that whether she succeeds or fails, there is always a price to pay.
8. Duel Masters
Original Release: October 21, 2002 – March 26, 2017
Number of Episodes: 633
When his father left, Shobu Kirifuda was still a young child. He was a master in Kaijudo, and Shobu wanted to compete with him. Following competitions, tests, and meetings, he meets the Knight who will serve as his master. Knight then challenges Shobu, who is defeated. The mentor instills confidence in the young student by assuring him that, like his father, he will one day become a Kaijudo master. The young student then sets off on new adventures in an effort to emulate his father’s quest to become the greatest duelist in history.
9. Digimon Tamers
Original Release: April 1, 2001 – March 31, 2002
Number of Episodes: 51
Takato Matasuki, the 12-year-old protagonist of Digimon Tamers, is a fan of the Digimon card game. One day, after a game of cards with his two friends Kazu and Kenta, he discovers a mysterious blue card in his storage box. His reflex is to analyze it in his plastic Digivice which starts to shine in a strange way. Takato eventually realizes that he has become a “Digimon Tamer”, and accidentally creates his own Digimon partner, Guilmon, from a drawing.
Takato then meets two other children, who later turn out to be tamers as well: Henry Wong and Rika Nonaka. He gets along very well with Henry right away, but the two boys take time to get to know and team up with Rika, who considers the Digimon to be “fighting machines”. As this group forms, Digimon invades Tokyo, Japan, specifically the Shinjuku district, appearing through multiple digital portals.
The Tamers fight them to defend their city, but they are not alone – a government organization named Hypnos, led by Yamaki, is trying to eliminate the Digimon to put an end to these invasions. The group also meets a mysterious Digimon, Calumon, having the one and only power to control Digivolutions.
Another out-of-control Digimon, Impmon, also spends his time annoying tamers and their Digimon partners. As the invasion progresses, the Tamers will face nine Devas in the real world and two more in the Digital World. The twelfth, Antylamon, will regress into Lopmon to become the Digimon partner of Suzie, Henry’s little sister.
10. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS
Original Release: May 10, 2017 – September 25, 2019
Number of Episodes: 120
The series takes place in Den City, a city where for about 10 years a large virtual reality platform, called LINK VRAINS, has been built, which allows duelists to separate their daily lives from those of the game, allowing them to take on the likeness of a virtual avatar.
High school student Yusaku Fujiki is a guy who doesn’t really like to stand out, but secretly he’s a very skilled hacker who, thanks to the support of another hacker who owns a van selling hot dogs, Cal Kolter, defends LINK VRAINS from a terrorist group called the Knights of Hanoi, whose purpose is to take over an artificial intelligence named Ignis in order to track down a hidden world in the web, the Cyberse, and destroy it.
11. Death Parade
Original Release: January 9, 2015 – March 27, 2015
Number of Episodes: 12
The story of Death Parade consists of a succession of two people who wake up in a bar with a dark atmosphere. Unsuspecting, they do not yet know that they have entered a deadly game. Indeed, they don’t know how they landed here. Decim, the bartender, and his assistant then explain to them that they will have to play a bar game (darts, bowling, billiards, etc.) and put their lives in-game in order to perhaps understand what happened to them.
12. Bakugan Battle Brawlers
Original Release: April 5, 2007 – September 2018
Number of Episodes: 189
Bakugan Battle Brawlers is set in the year 2050 when strange balls and maps will fall from the sky all over the world, which will be picked up by many children and adults alike. It is later discovered by accident that these orbs, now dubbed Bakugans, are living beings from a planetary system called Vestroia. Children from all over the world are starting to organize themselves over the internet and fight battles with these Bakugan, unaware that they are real living beings. Twelve-year-old Dan Kuso, who lives in Kobe, finds a Pyrus Bakugan named Dragonoid (“Drago”) that can talk. Through Drago, it is revealed that the Bakugan are real living beings and despise how humans treat them. After some arguments, Dan and Drago become friends.
13. Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal
Original Release: April 11, 2011 – September 24, 2012
Number of Episodes: 73 + 1 special
The series is set in the near future in a highly developed city, Heartland, where Duelists fight using a new dueling technology: Augmented Reality Dueling. These use a system consisting of Duel Goggles and a Duel Disk that allow players to experience more realistic duels. 13-year-old Yuma Tsukumo is a mediocre duelist who dreams of becoming the dueling champion. However, endowed with an infallible determination and thanks to a key that his father gave him when he was little, he challenges one of the delinquents of his school and a good duelist: Shark.
Yuma unexpectedly unlocks a mysterious old door during the duel, releasing Astral, an extraterrestrial with no memory who can only be seen by Yuma. This entity, however, is aware that he is a duelist, and the only way to restore his memory is to assemble all of the shards that have been strewn throughout the shape of the 99 monster cards known as “Numbers.” Yuma starts seeking the Numbers as a result, but he won’t be the only one; many foes will try to stop him.
14. Future Card Buddyfight
Original Release: January 4, 2014 –March 30, 2019
Number of Episodes: 268 + 4 clipshows
The stories of Future Card Buddyfight anime and manga are set in the year 2030. New technology makes it possible to communicate with beings from another world using cards from the game Buddyfight. These are called by the players and go to their buddies, who can then use them in the game. But while the game enjoys great popularity and tournaments are held, others use the buddies to commit crimes.
The Buddy Police was established against these acts. The student Gaō Mikado receives the monster Drumbunker Dragon as Buddy, the son of the greatest hero of the dragon world. With him as a particularly strong buddy, Gaō can now compete against strong opponents, play in tournaments, and is also confronted with illegal buddy users.
15. Chōsoku Henkei Gyrozetter
Original Release: October 2, 2012 – September 24, 2013
Number of Episodes: 51
Chōsoku Henkei Gyrozetter is set in the 21st century, Japan created AI cars, and cars with artificial intelligence, and set up special academies to train children to use them. Kakeru Todoroki, a fifth-class student of the Arcadia Academy, is chosen to pilot the AI car that will save humanity and can transform into a robot, named Gyrozetter.
Original Release: February 5, 2000 – September 23, 2000
Number of Episodes: 32 (+ 2 OVA)
In Shinzo, humanity is wiped out by a genetic race created to fight a deadly virus. One of the scientists puts her daughter Yakumo into a cryogenic sleep, hoping that she will wake up one day and find human survivors, to bring peace between them and the new beings, the Earthlings. The girl receives special powers in the impact of a meteorite after the earthlings turned evil. When she wakes up, 500 years later, she follows her path and is reunited with three earthlings who accompany her. Together with them, she gradually discovers the secrets of the past and what actually happened to her planet of origin.
17. Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V
Original Release: April 6, 2014 – March 26, 2017
Number of Episodes: 148
In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Yuya Sakaki, the protagonist, attempts to escape the terrible world by smiling. However, he decides to confront life’s challenges in order to gain unlimited possibilities during a duel. Take a courageous step ahead! is the anime’s central concept. On the Japanese shore, Maiami City is one of the locations where the action occurs. There is the Leo Corporation’s corporate office, which invented the action duel with its “touchable duel holograms” and is renowned for them all over the world.
Children in tutoring schools big and little look up to famous professional duelists and study different kinds of summoning and dueling techniques. One of those kids is Yuya, who is pursuing a career as a recreational duelist, a subset of the professional duelist while attending the smaller, private prep school Yushu Juku with his lover Zuzu. Additionally, this is feasible at the bigger Leo Duel School (LDS). Yuya and the company gradually learn about other dimensions and get entangled in an interdimensional conflict.
18. Cardfight!! Vanguard
Original Release: January 8, 2011 – March 31, 2012
Number of Episodes: 65
Aichi Sendou, the Cardfight!! Vanguard’s main character is a quiet middle school student in his third year. He has always tried to avoid displaying himself too much and lived his life looking back rather than forward. Aichi, however, has one thing that makes him unique: “Destroyer of Blades,” a card from a card game that was gifted to him when he was a young boy. This card is the catalyst for him to begin playing “Vanguard,” a game that will fundamentally alter his life. This game, which utilizes a never-before-seen gaming system and takes place on another planet called “Cray,” has gained worldwide popularity.
Aichi joins the Vanguard right away since he is drawn to it, and he befriends rivals Misaki Tokura and Kamui Katsuragi as well. Despite the fact that this is a “friendly” rivalry, Aichi starts to live a happier life. The boy, however, has a goal: to battle Toshiki Kai, a chilly and lonesome high schooler with extraordinary gaming talent, at least once more. Aichi was introduced to the Vanguard game by Toshiki, who also saved him from a dull life. Aichi puts a lot of effort into honing his Vanguard talents every day in order to one day be
Original Release: October 8, 2012 – March 31, 2016
Number of Episodes: 178
Aikatsu! is set in the Starlight School, a prestigious all-girls high school where students go through idol-making training and take part in numerous shows. The girls employ Aikatsu cards, unique cards that feature digitalized outfits and accessories from various brands that are used to dress up in their performances, to take part in these shows.
The anime series centers on a young woman named Ichigo Hoshimiya, who decides to enroll in the Starlight Academy with her closest friend Aoi Kiriya after seeing the performance of the well-known and successful idol Mizuki Kanzaki. Ichigo and Aoi rehearse for performances every day with their classmate Ran Shibuki in an effort to improve as idols.
A new idol school named Dream Academy opens up in the second season of the narrative, where new idols like Seira Otoshiro, Ki Saegusa, Sora Kazesawa, and Maria Himesato learn. The third season features Akari Ozora as the new female lead and Hinaki Shinjo and Sumire Hikami as the new Starlight School idols. The fourth season centers on the Luminas (Akari Zora, Sumire Hikami, and Hinaki Shinj) embarking on a trip around Japan, where they will encounter fresh idols.
20. Yu☆Gi☆Oh! 5D’s
Original Release: April 2, 2008 – March 30, 2011
Number of Episodes: 154 + 1 special
In this series, in addition to the traditional duels with the Dueling Disk, some duelists compete on particular moto-dueling disks, called “D-Wheel” (“Duel Runner” in the American version) and these duelists take the name of “D-Wheeler” (“Turbo Duelists” in the American version).
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D is set in the future in New Domino Town. Seventeen years earlier, due to the malfunction of a reactor, called Ener-D inside the city, it caused a strong earthquake that divided the city into two parts: the Satellite, the dilapidated and poverty-stricken part, and Neo Domino City, the richest and most urban part. The protagonist is Yusei Fudo, a boy from the Satellite.
He flees to the rich city to seek the freedom of his people and finds Jack Atlas, the King of Turbo Duels, as well as his old friend who betrayed him by stealing his Duel Runner two years earlier and the Stardust Dragon card, which represented the only chance for Yusei and his friends to leave the Satellite.